WOW! Just finished my first Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber session and I feel amazing! I plan to go the day before my surgery and a couple days post operation to speed up the healing process. Last weekend through the F.O.R.C.E. support group I was able to meet with Angelina’s breast surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk, and one of the new things she is recommending for all of her patients is to do the oxygen therapy before and after their surgery. She says it has made a dramatic difference with the recovery rate post surgery. I am all about it especially since I live in a city that has a smog layer over it 90% of the time. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is good for so many other things besides healing from surgery. Please look at the picture above that describes the many benefits of it.
Side note~~I have less than two weeks til my surgery, and I just want you all to know that I am sad about making this decision, but I feel like it’s the best option I have. I feel that God/ the Universe gave me this information for a reason, and I am blessed to have this knowledge. I am blessed I have the option to take measures into my own hands. I watched my beautiful mother survive TWO breast cancers! Not just one. That means she had to go through chemo and radiation twice, she had to loose her hair twice, she had to put poison inside her body a bunch of times. She said if she would have known about BRCA1 the first time she found out about having breast cancer she would have removed both breast. I do not want to risk having to do that. In no way am I excited about having this surgery, in no way do I want to put my body through this. It’s just something I feel I have to do. I imagined myself waking up from surgery and freaking out, but I had to push that thought aside and imagine myself waking up from surgery with a huge weight off my shoulders and feeling relieved.
I appreciate everyone’s opinion on this subject, but I only want support at this point. I am going to go through with this surgery because I feel with my heart, mind, and soul this is the right thing for me to do. So please, I ask for only good vibes and thoughts about it.
As my surgery is getting closer it has been hard Personal Training my clients everyday. I have to motivate them to push themselves harder, make their workouts fun for them, entertain them, make them laugh, design the perfect hour long workout for them, stretch them, and make it worth it for them to come back again in 2 days to do it all over. This has become harder and harder for me to do. I find my mind wondering about how bad its going to hurt, and how I will have such limited range of motion in my arms for a long time. How I won’t be able to workout for a long time! For someone who is so active this is part is going to be the hardest!!
I will try my hardest to be a leader through all of this and come out on top with elegance and grace…
Every since I moved to LA (almost 2 years ago now!) I have been involved with a non-profit group called FORCE~ Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. It’s for people just like me who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Through FORCE my sister and I got invited to sit in the audience at The Doctors show. The reason for this was because the main topic of the show was about the latest research and developments of DNA/ Gene Mutations. They wanted e BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers to be in the audience. It was a surreal experience to watch Hollywood doctors discuss the gene mutation that I have known about for 7 years right in front of my face with all the flashy lights and cameras! The obvious reason for the topic of the show was because 2 months prior Angelina Jolie had just came out with having the same mutation as me! She announced she had gotten a Prophylactic Double Mastectomy the same surgery I am about to have (side note… I decided I was going to have the surgery before Angelina Jolie came out with it, copy cat).
Hollywood, I don’t believe would have ever discussed this matter if it weren’t for Angelina Jolie. I am so thankful that Angelina shared this with the world because the awareness of BRCA1/2 has increased ten fold, and it most likely has saved many lives and will continue to. As you can see if you watch the clips below they ask all of us BRCA carriers to stand up and be recognized which was kind of them, but my reasoning for being there was still confusing. The one part that did stick with me was the list of people who should get tested for the BRCA1/2 mutation. It has been found to be associated with many different kinds of cancer so please check out the list that I copied below and the link to the video.
WHO SHOULD GET TESTED~~~~
~If you , yourself or 2 of your family members have had breast cancer under age 50
~If you, yourself have had ovarian cancer at any age
~if your mother or father already has BRCA1
~ Any male breast cancer in family
~if you, yourself have had more then one breast cancer, or negative breast cancer prior to age 60
~If there is a whole lot of cancer (3 or more) family members on your maternal or paternal side
including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreas cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer uterian cancer or melanoma you should get tested for the BRCA 1 or 2 gene!!
I signed my breast away today…
I had one of my first Pre-op appointments today. It felt like a bit of a dream to be honest, but not a very good one.
The surgeon went over the first part of my procedure. About removing my beautiful yet potentially dangerous breast tissue. She talked about the four drains they will be putting in me to help along the healing process (so that the fluid comes out of me I guess), how the procedure with take 4-5 hours, we discussed the pain that I will be in afterward/for how long (I’ve heard that one of the most painful things is to sneeze Yikes!) , and what to do the night before the surgery. She didn’t talk much about the rest of the procedure because that is the plastic surgeon’s part. The plastic surgeon places expanders underneath my peck muscle, and then cadaver skin (gross) on the outside of them to keep them in place. Then sews me up.
I have a ton of questions to ask the plastic surgeon when I see her pre-op. How big will my scares be? do the expanders go in between my peck muscle and ribs? What happens with the skin above my peck muscle??? In the end will my new boobs be as perfect as my old ones (wink, wink) etc…. The main surgeon decided they will not be taking any of my lymph nodes (thank God), and it will be a nipple sparing surgery (thank God). I will be staying in the hospital only for one night, and then moving in with my sister Rachael, and her husband Joshua for a couple of weeks while I am healing (thank you sister and brother in law). The doctors say that it will take around 2 weeks to a month for me to be able to move my arms around freely. No driving or picking anything remotely heavy up. I have to sleep sitting up, and on my back until after my second surgery which will be about 3 months after my first.
None of this freaked me out, I was pretty okay going through this question and answer process. It wasn’t until I was ready to leave the doctors office, and a nice nurse started reading this to me, “Do you Stacy Hanke consent to have both breast removed…………………? Please sign here.”
”Excuse me?” I said caught off guard. She explained how I needed to sign to proceed with the surgery.
Wow! catching my breath I signed….That made me fall out of my dream state I was in during my appointment just prior to this. That signature made this all real.
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month. (Ironically the month before my surgery) There are many events going on all over the US to promote Breast Cancer Awareness so please join me and do so!
Yesterday, my good friend Marisa who is one of the best Zumba Instructors in LA, organized a Zumbathon Charity Event for Breast Cancer and it was such a success! Marisa and 4 other amazing Zumba Instructors taught a 2 hour Zumba dance class with over 50 people!! Everyone was dancing for breast cancer and having a blast while doing it!! (as you can see in the bottom right photo above) I danced my pants off as well, but took some time to soak in how amazing this event. It brought tears to my eyes to see so many people coming together on their day off to support Breast Cancer Awareness. They raised 1,100$ that will go to Breast Cancer research! Thank you to Marisa, Raul and the other Zumba Instructors for putting together this event! Thank you for inviting me I had such a great time!
This morning I am excited and honored to run in my first Kickin’ Cancer Walk!
I am running this race in honor of my beautiful amazing mother Julie Hanke who has survived BReast Cancer Twice!!
You are my strength and my Rock Mother!!
I still haven’t raised the amount I wanted which is $500 so please if you can any amount of donation will help! I would really appreciate it! Just go to my webpage
and you can donate there!! Thank you so much.
This race helps support the research to find a cure for Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Today will be another very emotional event for me, but I am blessed to be able to attend in hopes of raising awareness of the BRCA1 gene. There is another important event happening today which is the beginning of the National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer week. The goal of this week is to spread awareness and educate everyone about hereditary cancer and recognize and honor the people that have been affected. So please share this if you know any family, friends, or acquaintances who have had breast or ovarian cancer or has it now, and let them know that I am running in their honor today also!!!